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Samuel Clemens

Samuel Clemens
Artist
Jeremiah Gurney, 12 Oct 1812 - 21 Apr 1895
Sitter
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 30 Nov 1835 - 21 Apr 1910
Date
c. 1873
Type
Photograph
Medium
Albumen silver print
Dimensions
Image/Sheet/Mount: 9.6 × 5.9 cm (3 3/4 × 2 5/16")
Mat: 45.7 × 35.6 cm (18 × 14")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
NPG.80.283
Exhibition Label
Born Florida, Missouri
"His fame is imperishable," wrote the New York Times at the time of Samuel Clemens's death one hundred years ago this April. Using the pen name Mark Twain, Clemens had become one of this country's favorite satiric writers by the early 1870s, routinely making light of everyday human foibles. But it was the publication of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) that assured him a lasting place in American letters. Inspired in part by his own boyhood, these two tales set along the Mississippi River did more than capture the rhythms of youth in antebellum America. In these and other novels, Clemens examined with sardonic wit different tensions that underlay contemporary society, including the question of race. In later years, his success in this country and abroad was tempered by financial and personal setbacks and by a contempt for American and British imperialism.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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